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The Vet is Not So Scary

vetco annual examThis may be a scary time of year but going to your Albuquerque Vet Clinic does not have to be a scary trip.  First off, unlike most veterinary clinics, we offer a few different ways you can bring your pet to Vetco. We have daily walk in shot clinics, so you can come in when you and your pet are ready. You don’t need an appointment you can just show up and get your vaccines (we do a lot of other stuff during shot clinic too, just call and ask). If our walk in shot clinic doesn’t work for you and your pet, you can also call and set up an appointment. For some pets, the walk in clinic is too busy and all the other pets can be stressful, in which case making an appointment and being seen by a vet when the clinic is calmer might be better.

Here are some great tips to help make a trip to the vet less stressful for your pet.

Be Prepared

From the very moment you are getting ready to leave, make sure you are prepared for the trip. Put your purse or bag in the car, grab your sun glasses, and anything else you need to be ready to leave the house. If your pet is sitting in their carrier waiting for you to gather your stuff, this can get them feeling anxious.

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First you need to decide if you are bringing your pet to the vet via crate or leash. If you are using a leash, we recommend a harness so you can have a better hold on your pet and they won’t be pulling on their collar. When scared pets can pull a lot harder than normal and this can make it difficult for them to breathe if you are using a traditional collar and leash.

If you are using a crate, decide if it is easier to load them into the crate in the house or in the car. It can be really difficult for some people to carry their pet in a crate. Sometimes it can be easier on the pet if you put the crate in the car and then load them into the crate, this way they are not sliding all over the place as you try to maneuver the crate into the car. Once you get to the vet, if you need help unloading your pet in it’s crate, just let someone at the front desk know so they can help you bring your crated pet inside.

Snuggles

Most pets are going to have some anxiety when it comes to the vet. There are other animals, strange noises, weird smells, and then someone pokes and prods them in strange ways. If you give your pet some snuggles and cuddles this will help lower stress. Don’t smother your pet. Make sure to read body language. Some pets don’t want a lot of attention when they have anxiety so make sure your affections are not adding to the stress. But most pets respond positively to affection and this will help calm them.

On that note, a lot of people like to pet the other pets in the clinic waiting room. If your dog or cat is anxious, you may want to not allow new people to pet them. Meeting new people can be stressful for some animals anyway, and meeting new people in an environment that is already causing anxiety can make it worse. Just use your judgement to what will help keep your fur baby calm.

Know Your Medicine

When you go to the vet, you may need to provide prior medical records. Have all of this information ready so you don’t have to dig through your bag or pockets. Make sure you know what medications your pet is on, and if you are not sure you can remember them, then just bring them along with you. Being prepared will help you get through the lines faster and allow you to spend more time attending to your pet.

Bring a Toy

Does your pet have a favorite toy? If they do then bring it!  A toy is a great distraction from what is going on around them and can give them something to focus their anxiety upon. If they don’t have a favorite toy, try bringing a blanket or pet bed that smells like home. The smell of home can have a nice calming effect.

A trip to the vet doesn’t have to be scary. If you keep calm and keep your anxiety down, your pet will automatically be calmer. Encourage your pet to play with you, or the tech, or the vet, so they start associating fun things with the vet.  If your dog has a lot of anxiety try putting a drop of lavender oil on their collar, it has a natural calming effect. You can also give them Rescue Remedy before coming which is a great natural remedy for anxiety.

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